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How many days were there in 1752? Is there a year 0? When was there a February 30th? Why did an aluminum company lose $1,000,000 on New Year's Eve? Who thinks 1900 was a leap year? Why is Passover late? Why does Ramadan end early? Does the Chinese calendar follow a 19 year cycle? Why do the Hindus skip days and months? Who would pay for a Martian calendar?
This talk will answer these ten questions and explain the underpinnings of the major types of calendars: solar (Gregorian, Julian, Persian, Hindu); lunar (Islamic); lunisolar (Chinese, Hebrew, Hindu); cyclical (Mayan, Balinese). It will concentrate on computational features of calendrical calculations, but also dwell on historical and cultural aspects.